Thursday, January 18, 2007

M&A://Why should buy is among the largest online retailers based in the Netherlands. During 2006 it grew revenues by 50% to EUR 107m. The site, once part of Bertelsmann, is owned by publisher Georg van Holtzbrinck and publisher/retailer Weltbild. is building a new site for the 2007 Holiday season and fully embraces web 2.0 (recommendations, allowing users to build user groups focusing on themes, writers etc.). is headed for a 23.6% sales growth over 2006. Its international sales, which it doesn't break down on a country-by-country basis, is pretty stable around the mid-to-high 20s and will contribute about $4.8bn to total 2006 sales of $10.5bn. Amazon has international sites in Canada, the UK, Germany, Japan, France and China.

Why would be interesting to Amazon?
  • First, is doing very well. It would add to Amazon's overall growth, even though it is small. Including on a pro forma basis would enhance Amazon's 2006 sales growth to 23.9% from the current estimate of 23.6%. A nice addition.
  • Second, eBay's acquisition of local competitor shows that the Netherlands is an interesting market. would add infrastructure and local presence. Right now, Dutch shoppers mostly go to the large international sites (including Marktplaats/eBay), or to at best.
  • Third, Amazon would not (immediately) have to rebrand the site, which would risk alienating users. Amazon's launch of suggests it is ready for a multi-brand strategy.

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